EFEBangkok

Economic recovery following the first year of the pandemic in East Asia and the Pacific has been slowed by the spread of the delta variant of Covid-19, according to the World Bank on Tuesday.

The East Asia and Pacific region recorded fewer infections and deaths in comparison with other regions of the world during 2020.

However, the delta variant has severely hit the region this year, as it recorded a high number of cases and fatalities in many countries.

In its report "Long Covid", the World Bank underlined that economic activity in East Asia began to lose momentum in the second quarter of the year, forcing them to lower the growth forecast of many of the countries in the region.

"While China, Indonesia, and Vietnam have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels of output, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Mongolia will only do so in 2022," said the organization.

"The Philippines, Thailand, and many Pacific Islands will remain below pre-pandemic levels of output even in 2023," it added.

While China's growth is expected to be around 8.5 percent, the rest of the region is predicted to grow at around 2.5 percent, according to the World Bank.

The report excluded developed countries such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand.

The World Bank urged governments for greater efforts in their vaccination campaigns, and hoped that by mid-2022 most nations would have fully vaccinated at least 60 percent of their population. EFE

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